Originally Published: January 6, 2019 7:31 p.m.
Pegasus is gone. He was 30 and we were blessed to have him for 12 years.
Pegasus is one of those great “comeback” stories. He was a white Arabian horse and at one time had the distinction of being ridden in the Rose Bowl Parade. Dressed in his finest saddle and headgear, he must have looked quite regal.
Sadly, Pegasus ended up being sold and traded until he was finally found in a stinking pen in the desert in California with a drunken owner who abused him. Pegasus was standing in filth and covered with flies, when a soldier in the Army saw the pitiful animal and bought him for 20 bucks and a bottle of whiskey, then hauled him to his parents’ house in Arizona. This guy was a hero.
Unfortunately, the parents had two bossy mares who did not like the new white Arab, so they took him to a horse rescue. That is where fate came into play. My lovely old mare, Angel, had recently lost her stall-mate of 20 years to a sudden death. Angel paced, refused to eat and was inconsolable. A friend told me about a horse in Phoenix that desperately needed a home.
I was warned that Pegasus had “issues.” He had been beaten with a rubber hose and was fearful. He was “difficult and testy.” Reluctantly, I went to meet him and saw something else.
The day we drove to get Pegasus, we opened the trailer doors wide and he trotted right into his new life. Once home, he ran around the pasture and arena, and then took notice of the beautiful brown horse, Angel. Of course, Angel was fickle and ignored Pegasus. For days she acted as if he did not exist. She would not acknowledge him in any way. I was heart-broken.
One night, I asked Angel to give Pegasus a chance. He was out of options. Confused and lonely. In need of a friend. I prayed that night for a miracle. The next morning I woke up to see two horses nuzzling in the arena. And a love was born.
Eventually, Angel began to falter. She became blind. Pegasus guided Angel with her head placed at his shoulder. In unison, they would walk around the pasture and into the barn. Angel would venture out alone, never far from him, and died with Pegasus at her side.
Pegasus exemplified strength, courage and kindness. He went from a show-horse to a neglected and sickly beast. He was saved. Once. Then twice. Pegasus never gave up on life.
Some folks might say that Pegasus’s finest moment was when he was strutting in full regalia in the Rose Bowl Parade. I’d say it was when he led an old mare out of despair and darkness through the last year of her life.
The day after Christmas, his big, loving heart became tired and he laid down, never to get up. Now he has his wings. Look up, dear readers, because you will see a big white horse, flying free.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at email@example.com.